Suzanne Selfors lives on an island near Seattle where it rains all the time, which is why she tends to write about cloudy, moss-covered, green places. She’s married, has two kids, and writes full time. Her favorite writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, and most especially, Roald Dahl. For more info, visit her website.
If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?
I’d choose The Daily Show. I’ve got a mad crush on John Stewart.
What’s your favorite zoo animal?
What dead person would you least want to be haunted by?
Jack the Ripper.
What’s your motto in life?
Where there’s a will there’s a way.
If you were a road sign, what would you be?
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Hiding under the dining room table on Halloween. Casper the Friendly Ghost was at the door.
What food item would you remove from the market altogether?
How do you deal with creativity blocks?
I leave the computer behind and go for a walk. My best ideas come to me while moving around.
Can you visualize a finished product before you begin a book?
Before I start writing, I always know how my story will begin and how it will end. And I know which character will be telling the story. But I have no idea how long the book will be, or what kind of twists will happen along the way. That’s the adventure.
Do you feel that you chose your passion, or did it choose you?
I’ve been a storyteller my entire life. I inherited the skill from my father, a Norwegian fisherman who loved to tell tall tales. Creating stories is a compulsion for me. And now that I’ve been doing this professionally for almost ten years, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?
I like to write in coffeehouses. I find it’s better if I leave my house behind and go to a place where I’m surrounded by people and lots of white noise. I write most of my rough drafts when I’m away from my office. But the line edits and the nit-picky stuff gets done in my office.
Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?
My stubborn nature. Sure, my family has always encouraged me, and friends have been supportive. But when it comes right down to it, I’m the only one forcing my butt into the chair and doing the work, so I want to give myself some credit.
If you were no longer able to write, how else would you express your creativity?
I’d draw cartoons.
What has been your greatest sacrifice that has enabled you to become the author you are today?
I’m not getting the exercise I should. It’s always the last thing on my list. Spending so much time sitting and writing, I need to make exercise more of a priority.
What words of inspiration were given to you that you would like to pass along to others?
The truth about this writing career is not one that many beginning writers want to face is that you have to have patience. Nothing happens in this industry overnight. You have to do the work, write, write, write. You have to wait for editors to read. You have to wait for the book to be produced. This is why so many beginning writers turn to self-publishing. They don’t want to do the waiting. But it’s part of the process.
If you knew that you had only one last opportunity to express yourself creatively, what message would you want to convey to others?
I guess it’s the theme that appears in all of my books, one that I don’t set out to write, but always finds its way into my stories—be true to yourself.
When did you realize that you had a gift for writing?
I’ve always known. It just took me 39 years to work up the courage to put my words out there.
How do you balance your personal life and your creative endeavors?
Don’t get me started.
What is your typical day like?
I’m under three contracts, writing three different series, so honestly I can’t remember what I did yesterday, or the day before. I know it involved a lot of writing. And more writing. And then I cooked a meal, did some laundry, and fell into bed.